And We are Off...

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We had a great opening day yesterday! Traffic and trunk flow worked well, and so many eager and excited campers arrived. When we finally had time to look at our numbers, we were all blown away by our returning camper population at Keystone Camp: a stunning 91.4%! Even more meaningful to us is that 66% of our girls have been here a minimum of 4 summers. We also have a list of 44 girls receiving their 5 year blankets at our next campfire. Needless to say, we are filled with gratitude to have such a strong Keystone tradition among our campers.

The rest of the meal is simple and familiar: green beans, garlic bread and our full salad bar. I wish you could have seen the line for seconds and thirds last night! Dessert of chocolate pudding rounded out our dinner. The key here for our girls is the level of choice they have. The salad bar has a mix of lettuce and baby spinach, multiple vegetables, hummus, cottage cheese, tuna, garbanzo beans and black beans. We also offer sliced ham, sliced turkey and two kinds of sliced cheese on the salad bar. Our thinking is that if the main meal being served does not appeal, there is always the option of a sandwich.

Our welcome campfire was our evening program last night, and after we shared a conversation about life in the Keystone Camp community, our counselors entertained us with a skit and a song. We ended the day with taps on the hills before heading off to showers and bed.

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This morning was cool and a bit gray, but thankfully the rain has held off for our first full day of activities. Breakfast was scrambled eggs and/or grits. In addition to what is on our serving line, we always has a cereal choice on the campers’ tables with granola, Cheerios and Raisin Bran always being offered on the breakfast bar. Bagels and toast are also available at breakfast, and our Aide group helps man the toasters. Additionally, we offer several choices of yogurt, a fresh fruit and a canned fruit as part of our daily breakfast selections.

We have seen many more campers interested in Camp Crafts, our camping and hiking program, and Volleyball with its sweet location on the beach behind the swimming lake. We are also thrilled to introduce Kayaking to the Keystone Camp repertoire as well. Nature class discovered the fish beds in the canoeing lake, and they eagerly await the arrival of the baby chicks that are due in this week.

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Ms. B served her famous quiche for lunch, and the girls could choose between broccoli and cheddar quiche or ham and swiss quiche. It was not uncommon for a girl to come back for a slice of the other choice when she returned for seconds. The full salad bar is a fixture at lunch and at dinner each day, and we do have peanut butter and jelly out as well. Today has flown by, and we are all settling in to our routine for the next 3 weeks. It has been such a pleasure watching our leadership girls, those who have finished the 9th grade and up in high school, reach out to our younger campers. As someone who has enjoyed the care of older campers and staff over the years, the leadership girls know what it means to a younger camper to have the guidance of an older girl as they learn their schedules, figure out meeting places, and make their way around camp. We have an outstanding community of great girls at Keystone, and we look forward to sharing our next 3 weeks with you via our blog.